Northern Oddity. Wildwood Vagabonds.

Ivana Moomin Senja Dress | Photo: Cindy Phong

Ivana Moomin Senja Dress | Photo: Cindy Phong

Ivana Helsinki has the incredible way of combining fashion and lifestyle with art and stories. Their world is a holistic experience and I feel like I am carrying that world with me when pulling on one of their dresses. 

Every item has a story. Moomin Senja dress takes you into the freedom of imagination that Moomin creator Tove Jansson and Ivana Helsinki designer Paola Suhonen share. The dress is named after Paola's mother. The Herbario purse print is based on the flowers Paola gathered for her school work on eighth grade. 

Ivana Helsinki Herbario purse.

Ivana Helsinki Herbario purse.

This is not just fashion. It is a lifestyle, universe of it's own where night skies are full of stars. The sea whispers its secrets to a vagabond. Everything carries meaning and the art gives us freedom to feel. Freedom to breathe. Something we so desperately need.

Here are some of my stories inspired by Ivana Helsinki, not necessarily true but genuine.

Northern Oddity.

Sea salt had smoothened her skin and you could see her hair was dried in the ruthless Northern wind. Her presence was like the first fresh darkening autumn evening after the nightless nights under midnight sun. There was something radical in her independence and originality of thought. And that is what made her so fascinating.   

Roadtrips & Dresses.

She looked like an empress in her airy and graceful cold-colored dress and she did feel like one of her own life. Under the bright city lights people passing by were looking for something to let them free and forget themselves for a moment. She had come to understand that real freedom was a choice but not an easy one.

She stepped into the car.  He talked to the driver in a language she couldn’t speak. She had no idea where they were heading but she was sure it was going to be an experience.

Coming from very different backgrounds they still had something in common - the ability to imagine things that did not yet exist and a desire to bring them to life. And that was more than enough.

Love stories.

Her hands were gliding down on the soft pages of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. “He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking”, she read again and again. How could someone express so well what she felt for him. And she could see he felt the same.

The past days had been filled with delicate moments, exchange of somewhat shy but so gentle glances and smiles that were impossible to hide.

That night the music seemed a little more immersive, a little softer. He stepped closer under the colorful lights. A sparkling stream rushed through her body.

If revolution was a feeling, this must be how it would feel like.    

Photo: Cindy Phong

Photo: Cindy Phong

Pure Beauty.

She looked at the mirror. She didn’t see perfect curves, satin straight hair or a flawless skin. Instead, she saw eyes burning for inspiration, a spark for something unexpected and a body full of energy. She saw a girl who could carry herself with pride and express herself.

And to her, that was Pure Beauty.

Photo: Krista Isomäki

Photo: Krista Isomäki

Photo: Cindy Phong

Photo: Cindy Phong

Wildwood Vagabonds.

She was dancing on like a burning bonfire. For her, everything was an adventure, experience for its own shake. For her not to move was not to breathe and if anything she avoided conformity. Her spirit was free and her imagination was wild. She needed to find release for all this energy she held inside. Movement and the rhythm of music kept her alive. She wandered to learn and she had huge respect for the sometimes fragile and confusing yet so powerful and incredible wonder of life.

Yours,

Meri